People like things that are easy and for good reason. Our lives are already so busy, the last thing that we want to do is waste unnecessary time on tasks that can be simplified.
That’s exactly why the Scotts 4 Step Lawn Care program is so popular. Scotts LawnService is capitalizing on your desire to have a simplified and easy-to-follow program that takes the guesswork out of your lawn care.
The trouble is, the program is severely lacking.
It’s not even close to everything that your lawn needs to look and perform its best. In order to give you a sense of what’s missing, let’s walk through each of the steps in this 4 step lawn care program and fill in the missing elements.
Step 1 (Problem 1)
The first step in the Scotts 4 Step Lawn Care program is crabgrass preventer and lawn food. The program advises getting an application down some time “on or before Easter.”
First and foremost, that timeline is concerning. We understand that Scotts is attempting to simplify the program by using a holiday that you’ll remember but the date of Easter changes every year.
The timing of when you get crabgrass preventer (or more specifically, “pre-emergent”) down is absolutely critical to its success. It has less to do with a specific date as it does the soil temperatures and we are watching those closely to ensure that we’re starting the program at the ideal time.
It’s important to put the product down prior to crabgrass seeds beginning to germinate since the product works by forming a barrier that prevents it from growing.
Another problem with Scotts 4 Step Lawn Care is that one application is probably not enough to prevent a weed that is as persistent and unceasing as crabgrass.
At Oasis, we apply two rounds of crabgrass pre-emergent due to its tenacity. In the spring, we’re also prone to getting a lot of rain and that can breakdown the product to some degree. By putting down two applications, we ensure that we’re doing everything we can to prevent this stubborn weed.
Of course, if it does break through, we also include spot-spraying of post-emergent crabgrass control in our program to knock it back. Addressing breakthrough is a key element that the Scotts program is missing. Even the best crabgrass prevention efforts are not 100% effective.
Step 2 (Problem 2)
The next step in the Scotts 4 Step Lawn Care program is weed control plus lawn food. The biggest problem with the product needed for step two is that it’s a granular weed control product which is far less effective than a liquid weed control product—particularly one that is professional grade.
With this store-bought product from Scotts, the lawn must be wet when you apply it with no rain in the immediate forecast. Scotts is upfront about that. They say their product must be applied on a “calm day, on a damp lawn, and when rain is not expected for at least 24 hours.”
But what a pain to have to wait for these ideal weather conditions when you likely have work or other things to attend to. If you only have your weekends to work on your lawn, finding this ideal day may be challenging.
Plus, even if you apply when the conditions are just right, research from Ohio State University shows that store-bought (non-professional-grade) products are only 40 percent effective as compared to professional-grade weed control products. When weeds are often one of homeowners’ biggest complaints, why accept 40 percent effectiveness?
It’s also worth mentioning the timeline of Step Two, which is to apply “near Memorial Day.” By Memorial Day, you are already going to have so many weeds. That is on the late side to start aggressively attacking weeds as you ought to be.
Step 3 (Problem 3)
Now we’re at the mid-summer point and the next step in the Scotts 4 Step Lawn Care program is lawn food with iron.
But your lawn needs so much more than just lawn food. This is really the time when your lawn care program should be attacking crabgrass breakthrough as well as nutsedge and summer annual weeds, which requires their own specialized treatments.
At this time, your lawn care program should also be including grub control and treatment for surface-feeding insects, which can truly wreak havoc on your turf if not dealt with.
The Scotts 4-step program never gets into addressing lawn insects, which are a serious threat.
Step 4 (Problem 4)
The final step in the Scotts 4 Step Lawn Care program features a product for Fall Lawn Food. It does not address weeds, which absolutely need to be treated again.
The bottom line is that from steps 1 through 4, this program is very incomplete. It is missing quite a bit, including a focus on soil health, which is truly the secret to a fantastic lawn.
At Oasis, we’re focused on soil health throughout the entire program, utilizing bionutrition that has a significant impact on the overall results.
The Truth? 4 Step Lawn Care is a Bit Misleading
In theory, the idea of a simple 4-step program sounds nice. Scotts did everything they could to simplify the program and make it sound easy for do-it-yourselfers. However, it’s also quite misleading in that it’s marketed as being a complete program when it’s really not. It’s missing so many important services and when you start adding them in, it’s not all that simple (or cost-effective) after all.
How Much Does 4 Step Lawn Care Really Cost?
Speaking of cost, it adds up quicker than you might think. The bags alone are $110 on Amazon, but that’s assuming you don’t need to buy more than that. If you have a larger lawn, you will.
You can expect a cheap spreader to cost $60 to $90, and that’s not even for a good-quality one. The costs start to add up quickly and for what is likely going to give you sub-par results, you have to question whether it’s worth it.
No 4 Step Lawn Care Guarantee
Plus, there are no guarantees. If it doesn’t work, what’s your recourse? Scotts is not going to refund you for purchasing all of the bags.
When you work with a professional lawn care company, they’re going to stand behind their work. If weeds don’t die after spraying them, they’ll return to take care of them.
Working with a pro eliminates the hassles as well. Let’s be honest, it’s a pain to have to go out and buy these products—not to mention having to worry about the timeline for applications. That’s why we find that Oasis Turf & Tree customers really don’t hire us to make their lawn beautiful (even though we do), they hire us to take away their worries.
As simple as 4 step lawn care may sound, you probably don’t want to have to worry about doing any of it yourself. You’d rather have a professional who knows exactly what your lawn needs (and when), take the reins. Fortunately, when you hand over your lawn care needs to Oasis Turf & Tree, you get to hand over your worries, too.
Want to learn more about professional lawn care services for your Cincinnati, Dayton, Ohio, or Northern Kentucky home? Request your quote, choose the lawn care program that’s right for you, and then sit back and relax as the pros help you get the lawn of your dreams!